40 for 40 #7: Collecting Mud On My Boots

You might think that I have given up on my quest to do 40 fun things in celebration of my 40th birthday. I have not; indeed, I have been so busy doing things that I have not yet had time to sit down and write about them!

boots

Last year, I expanded my horseback riding horizons by riding in Virginia. It was not only an expansion of my horizons because I had never ridden outside of Pennsylvania, but because it was an adventure ride on steep mountain trails after which I was in so much pain that I had to use my arms pull myself up from a seated position for about a week afterwards.

This year, I decided to ride in two additional states, Tennessee and Kentucky, thus completing my tour of the core horse states. I rode a mule in Tennessee and a spotted draft horse in Kentucky, thus producing two bonus new experiences — riding a mule and a draft horse.

I travel with my paddock boots when I anticipate riding while away from home. I have not cleaned the boots on purpose, because I love the idea that they contain fragments of dirt from all of the places I have ridden. Looking at my boots, I am reminded of the lovely horses who so patiently allowed me to ride them, and of the beautiful moments created by our time together.